The 2023 A-to-Z blogging challenge theme is resilience. Resilience is the ability to get back on our feet and keep going after life knocks us down and kicks sand in our faces. Resilience is how the psyche survives and copes, but resilience doesn’t necessarily wear a cape of positivity.
The 26 songs I’ve chosen show us, musically, what resilience looks (sounds?) like. I’ll offer a reflection of the resilience in each song. The songs are alphabetical by the artist’s first name or the group’s name, except for M, O, U, and X.
S is for Sarah Brightman and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from The Phantom of the Opera.
Wishing You were Somehow Here Again from the Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Phantom of the Opera opened in 1986 in London and 1988 in New York. It’s last original Broadway performance was April 16, 2023.
The female protagonist in Phantom of the Opera is Christine Daaé . Christine wanders through a large cemetery on the way to her father’s grave as she sings Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.
This song is a heart-wrencher. It’s a song about living in the aftermath… the after years… of the death of a father or a father-figure. My dad lived a good long life. He passed away ten years ago. He was 82. Gosh, but I miss him. I feel these lyrics deep within my heart.
You were once my one companion
You were all that mattered
You were once a friend and father
Then my world was shattered
The resilience in this song is living day-to-day, year-after-year with the pain that lingers after we lose someone dear to us. We might not see a purpose to living, but we somehow go on. We might even go to their grave and talk to them, as Christine does in this song, because we feel close to that person where there is a psychological and tangible representation of them in a cemetery.
Wishing you were somehow here again
Wishing you were somehow near
The will to live is a strong component of our ability to keep going after tragedy and loss. We find ways to make meaning in life until we find ways to self-comfort (resilience taking care of us behind the scenes, so to speak).
Memories can play tricks on our resilience, though. One day we’re strong and reminiscing, and it’s okay. The next day…
Sometimes it seemed, if I just dreamed
Somehow you would be here
Wishing I could hear your voice again
Knowing that I never would
The next thing we know, our emotions take a nosedive, and we rage at the harshness of life that won’t let the past, and our grief, also die.
Too many years
Fighting back tears
Why can’t the past
Then we cycle around again and struggle to find the inner strength to say goodbye to what we can’t have…which is to have our loved one back again.
Wishing you were somehow here again
Knowing we must say goodbye
We’ve said goodbye in our heads long ago, and we’re trying to find peace in saying goodbye. Not goodbye to the loved one, but goodbye to the constant sadness, the always missing them, and the wishing they hadn’t died. This is our need to have emotional relief, which is part of our resilience telling us we have to say goodbye for our own well-being. Our resilience doesn’t insist we forget, but it nudges us to put the grief burden down.
Help me say goodbye
But is that really possible?
Here is Sarah Brightman singing Wishing You were Somehow Here Again.
*Black and White Image – woman with eyes closed by Richard James at Upsplash
*Candle Image by from Morguefile – text added
Unti next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time
Strength and resilience play an eternal tug of war with loss and pain
You said it very well.